Monday, December 19, 2016

Does the U really have one of "the cleanest athletic programs in the country"?

"These matters of culture within the department of athletics are being reviewed now with the oversight committee. And if there are issues of sexual harassment … then certainly the administration and the Board of Regents want it to be fixed and move forward."

That's what Dean Johnson, the Chair of the Board of Regents, said last year when Kimberly Hewitt of the EOAA reported concerns "regarding complaints about football players, including two reports of sexual assault 'committed by individual players,' two reports of sexual harassment involving 'groups of football players' and a report of retaliation of involving 'a group of football players.'”

Johnson's response? “I just believe in my heart of hearts that Coach Kill runs one of the cleanest athletic programs in the country.”

Those comments came only two months after the overserved Athletic Director, Norwood "The Colonel is Coming After You" Teague, had been sacked for sexual harassment. It came six months before the Gopher basketball sex-tape scandal. And it came just over a year before the latest allegations of sexual assault.

This week, commenting on the Holiday Bowl boycott, Johnson tells the Star Tribune: “I don’t 100 percent agree with what [the players] did, but I commend them for their courage, and hopefully some better processes, and better understanding and communication will come forward, on behalf of all the student athletes.”

Is it really any wonder that these problems never go away?

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